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MUSD receives a huge land donation

For The Madera Tribune

From left are Madera Unified School District Board President Ruben Mendoza, Deputy Superintendent Sandon Schwartz, Superintendent Todd Lile, CEO of SPAN Construction and Engineering, Inc. King Husein, SPAN Construction and Engineering, Inc. Chief Financial Officer Julia Peña and Board Clerk Joetta Fleak after the announcement of a land donation from SPAN to MUSD.


Madera Unified School District has received nearly 50 acres from King Husein, CEO of SPAN Construction & Engineering, Inc.

The property is located on the south side of West Cleveland Avenue between Avenue 16 and North Westberry Boulevard in the city of Madera. The vacant lot, which is valued at nearly $9 million, is set to be a future site for a K-8 school pending a review by the California Department of Education and the California Environmental Quality Act. If approved, Madera Unified intends to honor the donor by granting naming rights of “King Husein School” subject to the school board’s final discretion in constructing the project.

The new school would help provide student capacity for new residential development and help overcapacity issues at nearby schools, including Lincoln and Adams Elementary and Howard School. This project was also listed on the 2018 GO Bond Project List as a new K-8 school.

SPAN, which has been ranked No. 1 in the steel building industry by Metal Construction News for over 30 years, builds Costco’s and other major steel buildings in several countries worldwide.

Husein, who is originally from India, said that it was education that enabled him to come to the U.S., build his career, and start his own business.

“There are many great causes you can donate to, but to me, when you educate an individual, you are educating generations; you are pulling students out of poverty and giving them something to look forward to,” Husein said. “The way Madera Unified is educating their students, I believe is top level and that surprised me and impressed me.”

Another big reason Madera Unified was chosen for the grand gesture was Madera High School Alum and SPAN’s Chief Financial Officer, Julia Pena. When Pena attended high school, she had a great experience while taking a class from an accounting teacher named Sandon Schwartz, who is now Madera Unified’s Deputy Superintendent, and set her on a path to success.

“What I am hoping is that generations of kids get the same experience that I did and that they can contribute back to the community like I am doing,” Pena said. “

“King Husein has been a crucial leader in Madera for decades and has always chosen to keep his business right here where it was born,” said MUSD Superintendent Todd Lile. “To support Madera for decades to come and to actualize his deeply held belief in education, he chose support for our Governing Board’s educational vision. We have been sincerely inspired by the values and integrity of King, Julia, and the entire organization. On behalf of our trustees and colleagues at every level, we hope the Husein Family and the Span Family know just how grateful we are for their generosity and goodwill. They are yet another reason why WE BELIEVE in Madera!”


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